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First published on September 20, 2012

This is one subject that can keep people awake at night thinking why can’t they sleep!

Have you ever suffered from a sleepless night? I know I have on more than one occasion. It is normally when we have something going on in our lives that we are worried or concerned about. Some people suffer long term problems and need more professional help from someone like me. I wanted to give you some easy to follow tips and tricks to help with this problem.

The first tip is to stop drinking caffeine based drinks such as coffee around 8 hours before you go to bed because caffeine can stay in your system for a long time still working up to 12 hours after drinking a cup of coffee for example. Try drinking water instead or any other drink that is caffeine free, even decaffe coffee has some small amounts of caffeine in it.
The time it takes for the body to eliminate one half of a caffeine dose is normally between 3 to 12 hours. It is called the half-life of caffeine. Several factors can shorten or lengthen the half-life of caffeine. Smoking, medications and diseases are some factors. Pregnant women have higher caffeine half-life, 18 to 20 hours – pretty much longer for the fetus since its organs are not yet fully formed to be able to eliminate caffeine easily. About 99% of the elimination process takes place in the liver. Did you know that????

Don’t eat a meal before going to bed, have it a few hours at least before your bed time.

Relax before going to sleep. Have a nice warm bath or like me go and read in bed for half an hour before sleep. This allows your body and mind to unwind from the day properly.

Take 3 or more nice deep breaths just before you want to sleep. Breathe in through your nose and out though your mouth allowing your stomach to rise with each deep breath. This is called Diaphragmatic Breathing. Practise this a few times until it becomes comfortable. As you are breathing out say to yourself in your own mind “I am feeling sleepy”.

If you seem to have a lot of chatter or internal dialogue you can change it. Start by slowing the dialogue down and making it sound sleepy. Say words like “Relax” in your own mind and use the breathing exercise as above with it. You can even visualize a control panel in your mind which has dials on it with for example ”Volume” and “Tone” and make sure you turn the dials down to 1 or 0.

There are of course other factors such as anxiety linked with not sleeping which would take a while to read through that’s why I only write shorts blogs.

Simple things also help like is your bed and bedding comfy ,if not change them.

I hope this has helped.

If you feel you would like my help as a Hypnotherapist please contact me for an appointment.

Adam Cowming